How to Install Replacement Windows in a Brick House

Written by james cooper
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How to Install Replacement Windows in a Brick House
Window in brick wall (Indian wooden window on a red brick wall image by visualsamit from

When your windows leak or you feel a draft coming through the frame, it's time to replace them. If you have a brick home, there are specific things you must do to ensure replacement windows are installed properly. Consider that leaks are common when replacement windows are installed, so pay close attention to any open spaces that need to be filled with caulk or spray foam insulation. Also paint or seal any exposed wood before installing the new window. It would be helpful to have a friend assist you with removing the old window and inserting the new one.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Replacement window(s) and casing material
  • Sandpaper
  • Handsaw
  • Nail gun
  • Power mitre box
  • Hammer
  • Utility knife
  • Wood putty
  • Tape measure
  • Safety goggles
  • Work gloves
  • 1 x 4 in. wood shims
  • 2 x 4 in. pine board cut to fit window frame (sealed wood)
  • 2 ½ in. galvanised nails
  • Power drill and drill bits
  • Caulking gun and exterior caulk
  • Aerosol form urethane insulation
  • Primer & interior trim paint
  • Primer & exterior trim paint
  • Paintbrush
  • Putty knife
  • Pry bar
  • Fibreglass insulation
  • Exterior trim cut to fit with edges mitred at 45-degree angle
  • Decorative interior trim cut to fit with edges mitred at 45-degree angle
  • Interior spackling

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  1. 1

    Take off the trim around the inside of your window; insert a putty knife between the wall and trim and gently pry it away from the wall without damaging it. Do the same with the trim on the outside of the window, but first slice out any old caulk with the utility knife. Use a pry bar to pry the trim off the window.

  2. 2

    Remove the old window with the help of a friend by lifting it out if the wall. Scrape off old caulk and insulation from the window opening with the putty knife and utility knife. Save the insulation.

  3. 3

    Lay a bead of caulk with the caulking gun on the inside flange of the new window. Insert the new window into the opening with the help of your friend. Place a level against the window edge and level it by inserting wood shims in any spaces that need to be raised.

  4. 4

    Nail the window to the window frame from the outside by nailing the flange into the frame with the nail gun.

  5. 5

    Fill the space between the window flange and the wood framing with a layer of exterior caulk using the caulking gun. Slip a piece of 2 x 4 in. pine between the wood frame and the brick and fill any spaces with caulk using the caulking gun. Any remaining gaps should be filled with the spray foam insulation by spraying aerosol urethane foam insulation in the gaps.

  6. 6

    Lay a bead of caulk on the back and abutting edges of the exterior trim with the caulking gun. Nail it with the nail gun to the wood frame. Fill any gaps in the brick and wood around the window with more caulk. Apply wood putty to the nail holes with the putty knife, then sand it and prime and paint with the exterior primer when dry.

  7. 7

    Work from inside the house on the interior side of the window. Nail the wood shims from the inside of the window with the nail gun. Use the handsaw to cut off any protruding edges. Insert fibreglass insulation into any voids between the wall and window.

  8. 8

    Affix the interior trim just as you did the exterior trim. Fill the nail holes on the interior trim with spackling using the putty knife. Let it dry and then apply interior primer and paint with a paintbrush. When dry, sand it and apply an interior primer with a paintbrush. Wait until the primer has dried, then apply a layer or two of interior trim paint.

Tips and warnings

  • Wear work gloves and wear safety goggles when scraping or cutting any materials.

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